- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 15, 2003

IRAN
Gulf security plan would include Iran
TEHRAN Kuwait's foreign minister has called for a "joint regional security cooperation plan" between the Gulf Cooperation Council and Iran, the official IRNA news agency reports.
"It would be good for the Gulf Cooperation Council to launch a joint regional security cooperation plan with Iran," the agency quoted Sheik Sabah Ahmad Sabah as saying in talks with former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani late Sunday.
The GCC groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Referring to a possible U.S.-led war against Iraq, Sheik Sabah said Kuwait does not want to see destruction of facilities and losses among the Iraqi people, "because the nations of Iraq, Iran and Kuwait are all victims of the crimes by the Ba'ath regime" in power in Baghdad.

NORWAY
Police want to quiz Iraqi Kurd militant
OSLO Norwegian anti-terrorist police said yesterday they want to question the suspected leader of an Iraqi Kurdish Islamic extremist group who arrived in Norway after being expelled from the Netherlands.
Mullah Krekar, 46, is suspected of being the head of the anti-American Iraqi Kurdish group Ansa al-Islam. "He is not under arrest. We are pursuing our investigation to determine whether he, as a leader of an Iraqi Kurdish group, committed acts considered criminal under Norwegian law," said Unni Fries, legal counsel for the PST anti-terrorist police.

SAUDI ARABIA
Summit proposal would unify Arab ties
RIYADH Saudi Arabia has called for major reforms in the Arab world in an initiative that rejects external aggression against any Arab state and is to be put to a March summit in Manama.
The "Charter to Reform the Arab Position" calls for the regulation of inter-Arab relations and the ties of Arab countries with the rest of the world, the Saudi-owned, London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reports.
It calls for self-reforms in each country and for greater political participation as being the two essential conditions for starting comprehensive Arab development.

Weekly notes
Egypt's chief prosecutor ordered the seizure yesterday of the assets of businessman and ruling party Deputy Abdel Wahab Quta in connection with an anti-corruption campaign, judicial sources said. Mr. Quta and his son, Mohammed, were also ordered not to leave the country. The lawmaker, whose parliamentary immunity was revoked last month, reputedly obtained about $128 million in unsecured loans from Misr-Exterior Bank and used the money to speculate against the Egyptian pound. Israeli Labor Party leader Amram Mitzna confirmed yesterday that he would not join a national unity government led by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Mr. Mitzna supports dialogue with the Palestinians, and proposes a complete and unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, as well as dismantling Jewish settlements in the West Bank.


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